Based in New York, Shen Yun specializes in classical Chinese dance and music. Dr. Gilbert, a department chair at the University of Mississippi, attended Shen Yun while visiting California partly because he has an adopted Chinese granddaughter.
Dr. Gilbert called Shen Yun a “perfect performance.”
He appreciated its “excellent history and fantastic dancers” and was impressed by “everything—the singing, the dancing, and of course the orchestra music that they were choreographed with.”
In Shen Yun’s live orchestra, “A Western orchestra plays the foundation, while traditional Chinese instruments lead the melodies. The sound produced is uniquely pleasing to the ear,” the company’s website states.
Dr. Gilbert found the orchestra “outstanding.”
Many of Shen Yun’s dance pieces tell stories and legends from Chinese history. Traditional values such as compassion and faith are portrayed through classical Chinese dance.
For Dr. Gilbert, the spirituality of Chinese culture was “expressed through movement, expressed through their philosophy of compassion, truth, faith,” he said. He felt that the compassion was “very well portrayed.”
Shen Yun’s mission is to use dance and music to revive China’s 5,000-year-old history and culture, which has almost been destroyed in China under communist rule.
Dr. Gilbert thinks people should see Shen Yun and “realize the best history of the Chinese people—for thousands of years, the cultures, and the dynasties,” he said. He believes it is very important to keep these things alive.
Retired banker Ms. Sigrid Christiansen attended the performance with Dr. Gilbert. “It’s magnificent,” Ms. Christianson said. “It is a cultural experience.”
Dr. Gilbert had never seen a digital animated backdrop like Shen Yun’s before. “That was amazing, very, very amazing,” he said.
As the company’s website explains, “These digital backdrop designs complement and synchronize all aspects of the performance: the characters, color of the costumes, specific dance movements, props, lighting, the story being told, particular notes played by the orchestra, and special audio effects.”
“The costumes were just magnificent,” Ms. Christianson said. “And we were sitting up, so we could see the display, the flow of it. It was just beautiful.”
Reporting by Gary Wang and Sally Appert
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.